Olderpreneurs or just Recycling?

An article I read by Eric Johansson today in Elite Business Magazine amused me and I wanted to give my take on this phenomenon he calls “Olderpreneurs" Eric takes the figures from the banks and shows that the larger percentage of new business start ups are now made by people over the age of 55 and he extrapolates that these people are deciding to start businesses because they want to break down stereotypes etc etc. He wheeled out Comments on the research by Ian Rand, chief executive of Barclays Business Banking,  as he says: “It is fascinating to see this new emerging trend of ‘older’ entrepreneurs. At a time when they could be planning for retirement, the over-55s are utilising their skills by putting their wealth of experience and business knowledge to use, breaking down stereotypes in the process.

”I’m sorry, but is this banking Dinosaur so out of touch that he can’t see the truth as it stares him in the face or are they just typical platitudes from an overpaid executive that has no connection to reality?

Time for a bit of real world language I think:

The reasons why so many “older” people are starting businesses are as follows: 

  1. They have been made redundant from their previous posts and have been given their statutory one and a half weeks pay per year and a bit more and they wonder how the hell will that ever support them for the rest of their life?
  2. They have looked for alternative employment but nobody wants to hire people above 55 anymore. (LinkedIn job offers that flood in daily whilst you are in your 30’s, actually seem to stop even earlier than 55, but no organisation will admit to that strategy will they?)
  3. Government pensions are not even worth collecting, even if you have managed to survive long enough to get to the ever advancing age it is bestowed.
  4. Decent company pensions, such as final salary schemes, are now as rare as hen’s teeth and most of the new generation of “Oldies” have been conned into money purchase schemes (where the “Managers” of the money seem to make more out of the pension than the customer) and now realise that years of frugality will still not support them and their families unless they want to live on Iceland burgers and Twizzlers.
  5. All their working life they have been told to exchange 5 days of work for two of rest, so they can start again on Monday.  Taught to adjust their lifestyle to their income so they spend just enough of their salary on “stuff", that they are grateful they have their little jobs, so they can buy more stuff next month.  (Incidentally, this is the strategy of the most successful drug dealers).

So there you have it.  It’s not some wonderful new era. It’s thousands of highly skilled, hard working middle managers that were addicted to the “crack cocaine of a monthly Pay-check” all of their working lives, probably because their parents taught them to get a good education, work hard, be loyal,  save 10% of your salary in a pension and cut coupons to stay frugal.  Truth is, the old way doesn’t work anymore.  By the time you find out, it’s too late to do much about it. You have been “Recycled”.

Sure these wonderful new breed of Oldenpreneurs are sycophantically heralded by banks as the “new grey pioneers of the digital age” but truth is that no matter what contacts, education, knowledge, skill or energy they have – Nobody will be interested in funding their new venture unless they use their own money first.  Even then, these usurers, want to ensure zero risk in return for loan interest rates that they seem to make up as they go along.  I just wish they wouldn’t keep pretending to care about start-up businesses.  Why don’t they just publish their REAL loan strategies, so that we can all see what they are doing?

The morals of this story are:

  1. Don’t wait until you are recycled by your present employer.  Start planning to leave now and do it as soon as you have sucked every ounce of knowledge you need from them.  Use them.  Don’t let them use you.
  2. Get off the monthly pay-check merry-go-round and start to become a producer of your own value and content as soon as you can
  3. Read as much information as you possibly can about the “Global Small Business” (start with Author Daniel Priestley)
  4. Don’t waste time talking to banks.  Just select the cheapest one (free is good)! And ignore their condescending sales pitches
  5. Choose a business line that gives you possibility to affect large numbers of people, don’t waste your time on local small businesses that just become another job.
  6. Think big.  Your market is the whole World.  Be the owner of a Global Small Business.
  7. Don’t even consider retirement.  Just create an environment where you actually enjoy working.

David Claxton is now the CEO of Trivaeo Cloud Services Limited and has written this article after experiencing what it is like to be “recycled” and wishes he had jumped ship years sooner.  See his article on how he escaped the prison of employment here and read all about the CloudWorksIT Global Small Business opportunities being offered by Trivaeo here.

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